Posts Tagged ‘consequences’

You Have a Brain in Your Head

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Our little Princess has been having some problems lately. They involve accepting responsibility for her actions.

 

It’s hard to do that even as adults but for her – the one who has always been perfect in the eyes of her Grandpa – it seems especially hard. She tries to explain that she had to do what she did. Her friend told her to. Of course, we know the ‘if your friends all jumped off a cliff’ saying and we go ahead and say it. She tries other arguments. The ones that go, I didn’t think you would care just this once and I can’t help myself. I just do it without thinking. And there is always ‘the devil made me do it’. Somehow we just aren’t buying any of them.

The other day, since consequences and the ‘jumping off a cliff’ talk wasn’t working, I decided to try a different quote.

This one from Dr.  Seuss. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”  I know she understands this.  For her, the difficulty comes when her friends want her to do what she knows is wrong.  She gives in and then compounds the problem by refusing to accept her responsibility.

It’s not her fault. She had to do it.

Thinking about this – and being frustrated about my inability to get through to her – I searched for examples of adult behavior in these same circumstances. I was struck by how often we, who should be showing her how to stand up for what is right, have been modeling for her the behavior she uses. It’s not our fault we yelled obscenities at the driver in the car next to us.  He was driving like an idiot and, besides, I had a rough day at work. It’s not my fault.  I didn’t remember it was my turn to bring the snacks to the kids sports game. I was busy with things at work and forgot. It’s not my fault is our battle cry. When we hang out with the kind of people we tell them to avoid, when we shirk our responsibilities, when we break those little pesky speed limit laws, even in the littlest things, we can’t just say “I screwed up. I’m sorry.” When it comes to the big things —– well, let’s just not go there.

I’ve decided to focus a little more carefully on accepting responsibility myself. After all, even though she won’t admit it, she models herself after me and her mother and her grandfather. We are the ones responsible for showing her how a true adult acts just as you are responsible for showing your children how they should act.  Let’s all work a little harder at being the mature adult we hope they will someday become.

June 26 Daily Quote

Friday, September 28th, 2012

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.
Jim Rohn

 

This works the same way with our children. If their behavior is putting them on the wrong path, they don’t need encouragement to improve their self-esteem.  They need ‘education’. That means we parents have to provide guidance.  Put up fences.  Impose consequences for inappropriate behavior.  If we want to see true self-esteem for our little ones, we need them to have pride in what they do and who they are.  To have that pride, they need to get it right!  Let’s be the kind of parents to show them how.